Tintin auction in Paris fetches €1.8 million

A Paris auction of items related to Hergé's comic book reporter Tintin, whose adventures have been adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg, fetched more than €1.8 million on Saturday.

Original scene from King Ottokar's Sceptre

Auctioneers Arcturial said the sale, including costs, had brought in €1,873,396 ($2,480,095) — far more than the one million euros expected.

The 856 lots up for grabs were equally divided between recent objects and older material, including some very rare items, said Arcturial. In all, 85 percent of the items sold in a packed hall.

One of the most sought-after objects was an original gouache and watercolour drawing of a battle scene from “The Secret of the Unicorn”; estimated at between €35,000 and €40,000, it finally sold for €168,900.

Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin,” saw its worldwide premiere in Belgium in October and later in other parts of Europe to generally positive reviews and strong business. It opens in North America in December.

An original drawing for another Tintin adventure, “Flight 714 to Sydney,” fetched €90,100, about three times the initial estimate of between €25,000 and €35,000.

And a special edition of the adventure “Explorers on the Moon”, signed not just by Hergé but by six astronauts to have made the journey to the Moon, fetched €100,000 — around 10 times more than originally expected.

Even a handmade greeting card by Hergé, featuring a drawing of Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy perched on the famous red-and-white rocket from the moon adventures, fetched €40,000. It had been estimated at between €10,000 and €15,000.

The Tintin adventures were written and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983 by Georges Prosper Remi, whose pen name Hergé is the French pronunciation of his initials reversed: RG.

Hergé memorabilia are among the most sought-after comic book items. A Paris auction of Tintin drawings and sculptures last year brought in just over a million euros.

And a single illustration fetched €764,200 at another Paris auction in 2008, a world record in the field of comic books.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Tintin print signed by Aldrin triples estimates at Paris auction

A print from a classic "Tintin" comic book signed by American astronaut Buzz Aldrin fetched 33,800 euros ($37,250), triple the auction house's estimate, at a Paris sale on Saturday.

Tintin print signed by Aldrin triples estimates at Paris auction
The print was signed by several US astronauts including Buzz Aldrin. Photo: Artcurial
The image from “Explorers on the Moon”, a 1950s adventure where the Belgian reporter becomes the first human on the Moon, features an inscription from Aldrin: “First moonwalkers after Tintin.”
Aldrin was famously the second man to walk on the lunar surface after Neil Armstrong during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.
Interest in Tintin memorabilia has only strengthened since author Herge died in 1983 — an original drawing for a first edition was sold for $1.12 million in June this year.
Earlier this week in Paris, an original page from another Tintin book “King Ottokar's Sceptre” sold for 394,000 euros, far above its reserve price.   
However, the star item at Saturday's Paris auction failed to sell.   
The Paris auction house Artcurial valued a Tintin drawing from “The Shooting Star” adventure at €150,000 to €200,000, but no bidders were forthcoming.
More than 200 million Tintin books have now been sold worldwide, translated into roughly 70 languages.